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From general to private: the Far East is trying to abandon CBMs
Experts called not to rush with the liquidation of enterprises with state participation in the Far Eastern Federal District
The State Duma adopted a law aimed at minimizing state participation in the country's economy through the elimination of the lion's share of state unitary enterprises and municipal unitary enterprises (state and municipal unitary enterprises). In the regions of the Far East, where private business has traditionally weak competition with the public sector, are not yet ready to completely abandon the numerous unitary enterprises.
ROAD TO BUSINESS
It is planned to liquidate the state unitary enterprises and municipal unitary enterprises existing in Russia by January 1, 2025. There are several exceptions when such enterprises can exist: in the Far North, to ensure defense and state security, as well as in the areas of natural monopolies. The enterprises, which are extremely necessary for the region, will be kept by the decision of the governor.
The purpose of the innovation is to “clear the field” for private business and reduce budget expenses. Now there are 18,5 thousand enterprises whose sole founders are the Russian Federation, its constituent entities or municipalities. Hundreds of thousands of people work there, enterprises work in socially important sectors: household and household services, housing and communal services, mass media, ecology, mining, passenger transportation, cultural and sports facilities, construction and trade. At the same time, unitary enterprises are mostly unprofitable, as it is believed, are poorly managed and exist thanks to support from the treasury.
“Most regional and municipal enterprises work inefficiently,” said Yury Korsakov, a deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Primorsky Territory. - KGUPs incur losses, they regularly need funds: for recapitalization, purchase of equipment, fuel, salaries for employees, payment of taxes. For each specific situation, hundreds of millions of rubles are allocated from the budget of Primorye, and in the aggregate - billions to subsidize regional enterprises. And this despite the fact that KGUPs are not idle, they are provided with work - as a rule, due to a state order. It turns out, instead of making a profit and replenishing the budget, regional enterprises give an additional burden to its expenditure. ”
According to him, the situation is similar at the municipal level. For example, the largest municipal carrier of the Far Eastern capital, Vladivostok Production Association of Passenger Transport (VPOPAT), is periodically in a bankrupt state, and would not survive without the support of the city administration. Moreover, it works on the same conditions as commercial vehicles.
“Most likely, state and municipal enterprises simply do not have an incentive to reduce costs, to maximize profits. It is true that the "transition period" will last until January 1, 2025. During this time, it will be possible to prepare small and medium-sized enterprises that can occupy the niche of KGUPs and MUPs, ”said Yuri Korsakov.
The Russian government calculated that in four years only about one thousand unitary enterprises will remain in the country. Municipalities agree that some functions of municipal unitary enterprises can be shared with commercial structures. At the same time, there is a sphere of operational infrastructure maintenance in which it is more difficult for municipal enterprises to find an alternative.
“There are two municipal enterprises in our city,” says Sergey Mikhailov, the head of the Lesozavodsk urban district. - One of them - Grocery Store - is engaged in trade. Now we are talking about the elimination of this CBM. We will sell the municipal property and immediately receive funds in the treasury. Fortunately, there are enough commercial outlets in Lesozavodsk. Another municipal unitary enterprise is a communal enterprise, in particular, it supplies drinking water and sanitation. The city will need this municipal unitary enterprise in the future. Often there is a need for prompt implementation of urgent landscaping, roadwork, maintenance of the urban territory. It is necessary to sweep, clean, whiten. The municipal enterprise will do all this by order, without tenders. At the same time, part of the functions, for example, sewerage service, can be transferred to commercial companies. ”
FIND AN EXTRA
The decrease in the number and role of unitary enterprises in the country has been ongoing since the beginning of the 2000s. The most famous unitary enterprise in Russia - FSUE Russian Post, was reorganized into a joint stock company on October 1, 2019, the only shareholder is the Russian government. One of the most famous large FSUEs in the Far East, converted into the form of AO, is the Zvezda DVZ in Big Stone.
The privatization of regional and municipal property was treated differently in different regions. If in the 2000s the administration of Sergey Darkin in Primorye forced the transfer of property to private hands, in the Khabarovsk Territory the municipal and state sectors of the economy were supported, for example, the mayor of Khabarovsk, Alexander Sokolov, believed that municipal unitary enterprises bring too good incomes to the city budget to get rid of them. At the same time, in Primorye, the largest road enterprise Primavtodor was incorporated, the business almost reached the Primorsky Vodokanal state-owned enterprise and the Primteploenergo state-owned enterprise.
Huge budget subsidies were often poured into large regional and municipal enterprises, and this is still happening. However, they carry out a number of social functions, for example, Primteploenergo supplied electricity to villages isolated from the centralized power system, at one time it connected and tried to pull Lermontovsky GOK out of bankruptcy.
“Municipal enterprises are certainly not superfluous to Vladivostok,” said Natalya Voinovskaya, chairman of the city committee of the Vladivostok City Council. - They are aimed at the fulfillment of certain tasks, the powers of the municipality, while profit is not a priority. When corporatization will change the legal form. The power will remain the absolute owner, therefore nothing will change in terms of tasks, enterprises will be controlled by the administration. Internal financing mechanisms will become more effective. Budget money is "long", it is more difficult to manage with the procurement and all procedures. "
As a rule, until now, unitary enterprises have been reorganized into LLCs or JSCs. Resource-supplying and socially significant organizations are changing the form of registration, while remaining in the ownership of the authorities.
In November 2019, the Municipal Unitary Enterprise “Heating Networks” of the Ussuriysk urban district began to be called the joint-stock company “Ussuriysky Enterprise of Heating Networks”. All 100% of the company’s shares belong to the municipality, their sale without the approval of the Duma of the Ussuriysk city district is impossible. At the time of privatization, the property complex included boiler houses, heating mains, office buildings, equipment acquired for cleaning and laying asphalt. The city hall of Ussuriysk promises: tariffs for the population will not increase, but the quality of heat supply can even improve, since Heat Networks have more funds for modernization than competitors.
Another way after the conversion of a unitary enterprise into a joint stock company is to transfer it to private hands through the sale of shares. After all, the loss-making of the enterprise alone will not disappear. Only if unitary enterprises often worked at a loss, then private companies that came to their place will not do this. As a result, the Far East can expect a rise in prices in those areas where unitary enterprises used to be.
“So far we are not ready for the private business to carry out all the tasks,” explains Natalya Voinovskaya. - The powers of the municipality are not 100% backed by money. Municipal enterprises in the framework of not too good financing are forced to do more than commercial enterprises. MUP works for the task. Private traders will not work like that, they are ready to work only for what they paid. Separating so that there is both municipal and private is right, competition is good. ”
Last fall, the head of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Alexander Zhornik, changed his mind about selling the shares of former municipal enterprises, and now Ruma and Fakel. First, trading on the shares of Romania was canceled, then Ruma and Fakel were excluded from the forecast privatization plan.
“100% of the shares of Fakel and Romania belong to the municipality. It was about selling a block of shares. JSC "Fakel" - a cinema. In Komsomolsk-on-Amur, there are now two cinemas, one of which belongs to a private person. If the city had five to seven such establishments with different owners and there would be competition, the “Torch” could be implemented. In the current situation, it was decided to keep the cinema in the ownership of the city, ”commented Ivan Lavrentyev, head of the press service of the Komsomolsk administration.
"Ruma", he said, owns a number of retail facilities, leases space. This joint-stock company went through a change of leadership, the authorities considered that with the efficient conduct of business activities, Ruma could bring three to seven million rubles annually to the city treasury.
“Now every penny counts, Komsomolsk-on-Amur has a large budget deficit. In addition, at the expense of its own and borrowed funds, Ruma is implementing an investment project that could lead to an increase in the revenue base, ”said Ivan Lavrentiev.
It is noteworthy that both Fakel and Ruma are not subsidized from the budget, which means that they are quite viable. Meanwhile, in the framework of federal law, it is a matter of the fact that unitary enterprises should not be reorganized, but simply dissolved. At a minimum, this means a loss of jobs for several thousand specialists, and at a maximum, a rise in prices for goods and services in territories where there is no one to replace the state and municipal sectors of the economy.
Aleksandr Abramov, a FEFU professor and director of the Far East Center for Economic Development and Integration of Russia in the Asia-Pacific Region, notes that in a situation where the Far East has lost 25% of the population during the post-Soviet era and depopulation continues, the liquidation of unitary enterprises will not have a positive effect.
“FEFD needs its own policy, including monetary and budgetary. The State Duma adopted a law on the liquidation of unitary enterprises in the old paradigm. It was supposed that in this way the field for competition would be cleared, the housing and communal services market and others would develop, the quality of services would increase, and the cost would fall. Such a market idea. However, objectively in the Far East, such conditions, when the population decreases, the market has long been monopolized, divided between commercial structures and no competition between them arises. If there is no special Far Eastern policy, population growth in the Far Eastern Federal District and economic growth will not be ensured, you should not expect anything good, ”the scientist believes.